Packers Periscope: Week 6 vs. San Diego Chargers

Up periscope for a preview of the Green Bay Packers week 6 opponent, the San Diego Chargers

The Past

When I first was writing this article I couldn’t even remember the last time the Green Bay Packers faced the San Diego Chargers.  Looking further into it, the Packers have only played the Chargers 10 times in the last 45 years, and only 4 times at Lambeau field, which probably makes the Chargers one of the most uncommon opponents in the NFL for the Packers. 

The last time these two teams played was in 2011, which ended in a shootout (as was the norm for the 2011 squad).  Aaron Rodgers threw for 247 yards and 4 touchdowns and was bolstered by two pick-sixes by Charlie Peprah and Tramon Williams.  On the flip side Philip Rivers destroyed the Packers defense with 385 yards and 4 touchdowns but was undone by throwing 3 picks.   Interestingly, 2011 was the only time Aaron Rodgers has faced the Chargers as the game before that was in 2007 with Brett Favre under center. 

 

The Present

Overall Team Efficiency

Packers

Chargers

41.2%

-8.6%

Offense

Overall

20.1%

4.1%

Run

1.9%

-22.8%

Pass

49.7%

32.8%

Defense

Overall

-19.3%

6.8%

Run

5.1%

4.7%

Pass

-39.4%

8.7%

Special Teams

1.8%

-6.0%

Quarterback (DYAR)

385

214

 

(All statistics courtesy of Football Outsiders, click here for a detailed description of DVOA and DYAR.  And as always defensive DVOA is the inverse of offensive DVOA so negative numbers are better.)  

The Packers offense took a fairly big drop due to their lackluster performance against the St. Louis defense; the Packers should have been more productive, especially in the passing game, even against perhaps the best defensive line in the NFL.  On the flip side, the Packers defense jumped up quite a bit by literally destroying Nick Foles; the Packers now boast the top ranked pass defense in the league, but add it to the 31st ranked running defense after letting Todd Gurley run wild. 

It will be interesting to see how the Packers defense matches up with the Chargers, who are fairly similar to the Packers offense in the sense that they are a pass first team with a star quarterback and a stable of receiving options with a run game that is definitely there to support the pass. 

The biggest matchup will likely be the Packers passing defense against the 7th ranked passing offense in the league who just got back their star tight end in Antonio Gates but will be limited by their patchwork offensive line.  The Packers biggest advantage will be on offense as a whole as the Chargers are poor at stopping both the run and the pass; Eddie Lacy could have a big day after almost a month of going up against some of the best defensive lines in the league. 

 

The Future

The Chargers have had a pretty interesting last decade, mostly under the guidance of former general manager AJ Smith.  Smith has to be credited with drafting some of the best players in the NFL, including Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates (UDRFA), Michael Turner, Darren Sproles, Eric Weddle, Vincent Jackson and Antonio Cromartie.  On the flip side, he’s also responsible for letting pretty much every one of those players go, who then have gone on to have very productive careers.  Tom Telesco on the other hand has done a good job of retain his own talent but unfortunately hasn’t been able to find much talent in the draft.  Of the three drafts he’s headed, Keenan Allen is probably the best of the lot as a 3rd rounder.

What this all means is that the Chargers are at a point where the old guard of the AJ Smith era is about to be replaced by the new guard of Tom Telesco and the question is how well can this team replace the talent its going to lose in the next few years.  Eric Weddle has already publically stated that this his last year as a Charger while Antonio Gates is 35 and near the end of his career as well.  The team has done well to retain Philip Rivers for another 4 years, with an easy contract out in 2017 when he’s 35. 

Overall, the Chargers are well run franchise with a star quarterback and the pieces around him to be successful in the league.  While they’re probably not a Super Bowl favorite and have had trouble even getting into the playoffs in recent years, the Chargers will likely be a good team to beat this week for the Packers.

  

 

 

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Comments (17)

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PaulRosik's picture

October 16, 2015 at 03:23 pm

Another patchwork line against this Packer pressure? Could be a tough day for Rivers.

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hobbes's picture

October 16, 2015 at 06:21 pm

If the Chargers can't get the running game established I think the Packers are going to have a much easier time with the rest of the game. The Packers are susceptible to run plays but if that's not an issue (Seahawks, 49ers), then look out.

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EddieLee's picture

October 16, 2015 at 03:23 pm

Another week and the Packer defense faces another offensive line in flux. They should be in River's pocket all afternoon. Rivers is good at getting the ball out quickly but not so good at eluding and moving away from pressure.

On offense, this is probably the week Rodgers and company get back on track. I hope for a potent running game against a team that has struggled stopping it a bit this year.

The renewed running attack keeps Rivers on the sideline and the Packers put this one away early. 37-24.

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hobbes's picture

October 16, 2015 at 06:22 pm

This is true, but there isn't really anyone on the Chargers' receiving group that really scares me. Sure, Antonio Gates is still one of the best TEs in the game but I'm guessing he's on a pitch count much like Peppers is.

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croatpackfan's picture

October 16, 2015 at 03:27 pm

As I already mentioned. Very good team. Packers are much better, but must not underestimate Chargers. If they do that it may become ugly!
Nice review Thomas

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4thand1's picture

October 16, 2015 at 08:10 pm

Packers 10.5 point favorites. Do they cover this week? So far they're a perfect 5-0 against the spread.

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Lphill's picture

October 16, 2015 at 09:30 pm

Rivers is gonna throw it at least 50 times, he will have his yards and maybe some picks as well, Packers need to establish the run to open up passing lanes then it should all fall into place t o go 6 and 0 into the bye, I think they do cover.

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Dan Stodola's picture

October 17, 2015 at 01:13 am

Last week StL already committed heavily to stop the run. Teams are going 8 in the box regularly and the passing game is struggling against favorable coverages, mainly man w/ single high safety. Lacy had 13 for 27 yds because of it. And Rodgers led the Packers in rushing (8 for 39) because of man coverage.

Packers won't be able to run teams out of that. They need to make some big plays outside the numbers and upfield. In particular, they need to score in those coverages going over the top.

Those throwing lanes are already open, Packers just don't have anyone that strikes fear downfield, and that's not likely to change, even when Adams and Cobb are on the field and healthy.

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4thand1's picture

October 17, 2015 at 08:38 am

Well it's just dumb playing if you don't even try to stretch the field. Packers should come out 5 wide and spread the field, see if they put 8 in the box.

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Dan Stodola's picture

October 17, 2015 at 11:21 am

Who ever said they shouldn't try to stretch the field? Certainly not me. Couple days ago, I said they have to continue to try to hit some deep balls in attempt to open the field.

Those throwing lanes are there, the Packer just don't have the ability to capitalize on them w/o Jordy. A healthy Adams and Cobb will help a little, but neither is really capable of stretching the field or running by a CB and neither is Jones.

Just having more WR on the field isn't going to stretch it vertically and push the Safeties deeper.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

October 16, 2015 at 11:00 pm

What year was it when Tomlinson lit us up in SD? Good God, i remember that game vividly, for all the wrong reasons.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 16, 2015 at 11:54 pm

2003 I believe.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

October 16, 2015 at 11:02 pm

I think the D gets several turnovers, Rivers will press by the end of the game.

38-20 PACK

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porupack's picture

October 17, 2015 at 12:18 am

Saints defeating the Falcons on TNF is reminder that just when pundits establish their superficial narratives, football players go out and play. Unknowns are still talented enough, and superstars on the bench aren't the storyline afterall.
Moving on from this jibberish...I'd like to see the offense impose its will for once this year for full game.
While game planning D against Rivers and his potential to light up a passing game, hope Capers is ready for Melvin Gordon. But if the Chargers Oline is what people describe, then hard to see that working without a load of screens.
Sorry I'll miss the game. Hope everyone in green enjoys the domination.

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Otto's picture

October 17, 2015 at 12:25 am

Welcome home Melvin Gordon. Sorry it will be under these circumstances.

Thursday's Atlanta v. Saints game should be a lesson to everyone not to underestimate any opponent. I don't think they will. The lads seem to have the ability to focus more this year. Nothing seems to have gotten them off their game.

Pittsburgh may still have SD heart in one of their equipment bags. I don't think they'll recover. At least, not in Lambeau.

Packers are 10.5 pt favs. They cover... and then some.

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sheppercheeser's picture

October 17, 2015 at 05:55 am

Based on SD's lackluster run defense, I can see MM going for a ball-control kind of game, with plenty of rushing plays. Keeping the ball out of Rivers hands via long, sustained drives by GB should lead to another grind-it-out victory.

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4thand1's picture

October 17, 2015 at 11:03 am

The grinding out will come in the 4th with a 3 score lead.

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